Today, the Government of Canada announced that Canadians will be able to apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) from April 6th.
Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will give eligible Canadians a taxable benefit of $2,000 per month for up to four months.
CERB is being jointly administered by Service Canada and the Canada Revenue Agency. According to the news release, once the application process opens as of April 6, 2020, Canadians can expect to receive payments within three to five business days through direct deposit or within 10 business days by cheque.
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Examples of support to workers provided by the CERB include:
- workers, including those who are self-employed, who must stop working due to COVID-19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support;
- workers who lost their employment, as well as workers who are sick, quarantined or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19;
- working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children that are sick or need additional care because of school and daycare closures; and
- workers who still have their employment but are not being paid because there is currently not sufficient work and their employer has asked them not to come to work.
Who is Eligible for CERB:
The CERB will be available to workers:
- You must reside in Canada
- You are 15 years of age or older at the time of application
- You have stopped working because of COVID-19; or because you are unable to work due to illness, or because you lost your employment for other reasons beyond your control; and
- You have not quit your job voluntarily
- who had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application.
- The income of at least $5,000 may be from any or a combination of the following sources:
- maternity and parental benefits under the Employment Insurance program
- and/or similar benefits paid in Quebec under the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan
- The income does not have to be earned in Canada, but you need to reside in Canada.
- The Benefit is also available to workers who, after March 15, are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits.
- Starting April 6, 2020, you can apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. If you have stopped working because of COVID-19, you should apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, whether or not are eligible for Employment Insurance. The Benefit is available for the period from March 15, 2020 to October 3, 2020. Eligible workers can apply no later than December 2, 2020.
How Much Will You Get Under CERB:
- The CERB will be paid in blocks of four weeks in the amount of $2,000, which is equivalent to $500 per week.
- If an individual’s situation continues, they can re-apply for payment for multiple 4-week periods, to a maximum of 16 weeks (4 periods).
- Your payments will be retroactive to your eligibility date.
- The Benefit is taxable although tax will not be deducted at source. You will be expected to report the Benefit as income when you file your income tax for the 2020 tax year.
How to Apply for CERB:
- Applications for the CERB will open on April 6, 2020 at Canada.ca/coronavirus.
- Applicants will be asked simple questions that help direct them to one of two service options:
- Canadians who would generally be eligible for EI benefits will be directed to apply for the CERB through Service Canada through Appliweb; or
- Canadians who would generally not be eligible for EI benefits will be directed to apply for the CERB through the CRA’s MyAccount or CRA’s automated toll-free line at 1-800-959-2019.
- How to Apply Online: Canadians can get ready to apply for the CERB by signing up to My Account or My Service Canada Account. They should also make sure their direct deposit and mailing information is up to date with the CRA.
- There are also specific days that are best to apply (To help manage the volume of applications through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and Service Canada), depending on the month you are born.
- If you were born in the months of January, February or March, apply for CERB on Mondays and the best day to apply is April 6.
- If you were born in the months of April, May, or June, apply for CERB on Tuesdays and the best day to apply is April 7.
- If you were born in the months of July, August, or September, apply for CERB on Wednesdays and the best day to apply is April 8.
- If you were born in the months of October, November, or December, apply for CERB on Thursdays and the best day to apply is April 9.
- If you are applying on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, month of your birth does not matter.
- APPLY ONLINE FOR CERB
- Apply for CERB over phone: Canadians calling the toll-free line at 1-800-959-2019 will be connected to the CRA’s automated telephone system. This is a dedicated line for CERB applications.
When Will You Get CERB/How Long Will it Take
- There is no waiting period and direct deposit payments will be delivered into accounts within three business days of applicants being eligible to receive it, and cheques within 10 days.